Oct. 13—Editor's note: The Journal will be publishing Q&As with the Salina City Commission candidates through Saturday. Three members will be elected to the commission which is comprised completely of at-large seats. Advance voting for the Nov. 2 general election begins Oct. 18.
A fifth-generation Salinan, Jerry Ivey has lived here his entire life, believing it is a good place to raise a family and is running for City Commission to keep it that way.
In a questionnaire sent to all eight candidates, Ivey said the housing crisis in the city is a key issue in this city and this election.
Though he acknowledges the city has made progress by bringing in developments recently, Ivey said affordable housing is what is truly needed right now.
"Small families are having a difficult time finding rental and buying houses at a reasonable price," Ivey said.
Another challenge the city will face is the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. Ivey said he believes the city should lessen its role as the pandemic moves on.
"The commission's role in the pandemic should be helping people and businesses by using the federal funds provided to them," Ivey said. "(It) should not be making health decisions, and (should) move very cautiously on any shutdowns."
Related to the issue of the pandemic and the commission's response to it is the proposed ordinance that is also on the ballot Nov. 2.
Ivey said he appreciated the efforts of those who signed the petition, and that the current commission decided to place the issue on the ballot, in addition to getting a judicial opinion on the legality of it.
"Provided the court says it's valid, the citizens of Salina will make the ultimate decision on the ordinance," Ivey said. "I will accept either way the vote comes out."
Full responses to the questionnaire are included here:
Ivey: I want to give back to my community. I've lived here all my life. I am a fifth generation Salinan. Salina has been a good place to live and raise a family. I want to use my position as a commissioner to help keep it that way.
I consider myself a hard worker and I'll use that as an advantage on the commission. I am able to handle more than one issue at a time, there is a lot more going on in Salina that needs to be addressed than one issue. I feel that I can fairly represent all of the citizens of Salina.
Ivey: Housing is the biggest need in Salina right now. We need more affordable housing. The proposed ordinance and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ivey: The city has brought in a few developments recently, which is a nice addition to the housing market, but right now we need more affordable housing. Small families are having a difficult time finding rental and buying houses at a reasonable price. Two-bedroom, one-bath rental houses are renting for $800 to $1,000 per month. This is making it very hard on families and individuals just starting out. My goal is to fix this problem using any of the resources the city and the commission can provide.
Ivey: I applaud the efforts of those who gathered the signatures for the petition. I am also glad that the current commission put this on the ballot as well as checking the legality of the ordinance. Provided the court says it's valid, the citizens of Salina will make the ultimate decision on the ordinance. I will accept either way the vote comes out.
Ivey: I would hope the city's role would be able to lessen as the pandemic moves on. The commission's role in the pandemic should be helping people and businesses by using the federal funds provided to them. The city commission should not be making health decisions, and move very cautiously on any shutdowns. Any shutdowns should only be talked about in extreme situations.
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